Phi Beta Cons

Feasting at the Public Trough

Higher education is often a microcosm of the zero-sum world of politics, especially when budget season is in bloom. University stakeholders have their special interests, too, and each year they fight for their preferred goodies at the state and national levels. 

In today’s Pope Center feature, I and Jenna Robinson, the Center’s president, examine North Carolina’s latest higher education budget. We find that it unnecessarily increases spending and even bails out one university’s failing medical school. But in several key areas, such as teacher preparation, online education, and remediation, the state’s legislators decided to take on big reforms and demand high standards and accountability.

If only such oversight were more common than the university handouts and spending increases.

Jesse Saffron — Jesse Saffron is a writer and editor for the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, a North Carolina-based think tank dedicated to improving higher education in the Tar ...

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